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About me

Ellis McGehee Carter exclusively represents, nonprofit, tax-exempt and mission based businesses with respect to corporate and tax matters. Ellis spent 13 years practicing with large firms, forming Carter Law Group in 2010. Specifically, Ellis provides advice and counsel with respect to:


  • qualification for tax exemption

  • conversions to and from tax-exempt status

  • mergers and restructuring

  • joint ventures and entrepreneurial activities

  • creation of supporting organizations

  • unrelated business income tax

  • advocacy

  • fund-raising

  • endowment management

  • governance

  • compensation matters

  • complex gifts and grants

  • mission related investments

  • intermediate sanctions

  • audit defense; and

  • gifts with tax shelter implications.


Ellis has particular experience working with health care/scientific research institutions, private foundations, private operating foundations, economic development entities, trade associations and educational institutions.



  • LL.M. in Taxation, University of Washington School of Law, 1998

  • J.D., cum laude, Seattle University School of Law, 1996

  • Certificate in Chinese Law, East Shanghai University of Politics and Law, 1994

  • B.A., cum laude, Northeastern University, 1993



  • Champion of Diversity Award, Black Women Lawyer’s Association, 2013

  • Best Lawyers in America/U.S. News and World Reports, Top Tier Law Firm, Non-Profit/Charities Law, 2010-2013

  • Best Lawyers in America, Non-Profit/Charities Law, 2007-2013

  • Rated “AV Preeminent” (the highest rating available), by Martindale Hubbell

  • Phoenix Magazine, Top Lawyers, Nonprofit-Charities Law, 2007

  • Volunteer Lawyers Program, Non-Profit Advocate of the Year, 2002


Photos and videos

415072 1294846446

Practice areas


  1. Tax: 50%
    20 years
  2. Business: 50%
    20 years



Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (always)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Phoebe Moffatt

    I endorse this lawyer. Ellis is a personable, genuine, and skilled attorney. She is a fantastic choice for those seeking legal representation in the non-profit area.


    Phoebe Moffatt Estate planning Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Heidi L Kimzey

    Ellis is one of the most informed and skilled attorneys in her area of expertise: non-profit law. she constantly monitors changes in the law and practical applications relevant to non-profit organizations. She is always on the cutting edge of information relevant to non-profits.


    Heidi Kimzey Land use and zoning Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

Contact info

Carter Law Group, P.C.

849 N. 3rd Avenue
Phoenix, AZ, 85003


AZActive 200003/29/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Best Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers in America2016
Attorney of the Year - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers in America2015
Best Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers in America2014
Best Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers of America2013
Best Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers of America2012
Best Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers of America2011
Best Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers of America2010
Best Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers in America2009
Best Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities Law2008
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell2008
Best Lawyers of America - Nonprofit and Charities LawBest Lawyers of America2007
Top Lawyers - Nonprofit/Charities LawPhoenix Magazine2007
Non-profit Advocate of the YearVolunteer Lawyers Program of Arizona2002
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerCarter Law Group, P.C.2010 - Present
DirectorFennemore Craig2007 - 2010
PartnerQuarles & Brady LLP 1998 - 2007
Tax ConsultantKPMG1997 - 1998
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Alliance for Public Charter SchoolsMember2014 - Present
American Bar Association, Tax Law Section, Committee on Exempt OrganizationsMemberN/A
State Bar of ArizonaMemberN/A
Washington State Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Successful TransactionsPositive
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Law For ChangeCo-Working Organizations – Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Models2013
Law For ChangeNonprofit Startups: Repurposing An Existing Nonprofit2012
Law For ChangeVoting Members vs. Self-Perpetuating Boards2012
The Montana LawyerTop 10 Nonprofit Governance Mistakes from a Lawyer's Perspective2010
Arizona Attorney at Law MagazineTop 10 Nonprofit Governance Mistakes from a Lawyer's Perspective2010
CharityLawyerNonprofit Law Posts2009
Fennemore Craig Non-profit UpdateNew Law Permits Increased Flexibility in Expending and Managing Charitable Funds2009
PhilanthropyWorks AZLegislative Update: Inside the Beltway2001
The ArrowTribal Tax Basics2001
PhilanthropyWorks AZThe Temporary Transfer Tax Repeal2001
PhilanthropyWorks AZCorporate Sponsorships: The Trojan Horse of Charitable Gifts2001
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Washington School of LawN/ALL.M - Master of Laws1998
Seattle University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1996
Northeastern UniversityN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1993
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Encore Fellowship ProgramTop 15 Mistakes in Nonprofit Board Governance2013
Planned Giving Roundtable's 18th Annual Summer ForumSocial Enterprise - Emerging Structures2012
Planned Giving Roundtable Summer ForumGood Gifts Gone Bad2012
JTAC MeetingNonprofit Law 1012012
Charter School ConferenceCharter Management Contracts2012
Monthly MeetingSocial Media and Your Organization2011
Charter Starter ConferenceCharter School Legal Concerns2011
Yuma Summer Forum , Yuma Community FoundationPrivate Foundations, Supporting Organizations and Donor Advised Funds – A Comparison2010
Technical Assistance Partnership ConferenceWhat's New With Form 9902010
Southwest Conference of Foundations Annual ConferenceBest Practices in Committee Charters2010
National TeleconferenceAdvising Nonprofits 1012010
Make-A-Wish Foundation of America's 30th Anniversary Conference in Orlando, FloridaNonprofit Law 1012010
Charter Starter ConferenceSo You Want to Start A Charter School2010
Charter School ConferenceLegal Considerations of Governing Boards2010
ASU Lodestar Center Nonproit Law CourseNonprofit Law2010
ASU American Humanics Program Hot Topics PanelNonprofit Legal Issues2010
Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants ConferenceNonprofit Best Practices2010
Arizona Bar ConventionLegal Considerations for Board Service2010
American Humanics ConferenceObtaining and Maintaining Tax-exempt Status2010
62nd Annual Conference of Southwest FoundationsBest Practices in Committee Charters2010
30th Anniversary ConferenceNonprofit Law 1012010
National TeleconferenceNonprofit Fundraising Law 1012009
ASU's Nonprofit Management InstituteNonprofit Law2009
American Bar Association Section of Taxation, 2009 Mid-Year MeetingConversions: Where do we Stand?,2009
ASU's Non-profit Management InstituteNon-profit Law2008
Summer Professional Education SeriesA Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Tax-exempt Organizations2007
Non-profit Management InstituteNonprofit Law2007
Tax-Exempt Organizations in ArizonaTax-Exempt Organizations in Arizona2006
58th Annual Conference of Southwest FoundationsBest Practices for Setting Executive Compensation2006
Annual Meeting of the Not for Profit Section of the Arizona Society of Certified Public AccountantsNonprofit Mission Creep2004